What Did the Prophet Adam Do on Earth According to Islam?
29 SEP 2017
Christianity, Judaism and Islam all agree that Adam was the first man created by God, though the accounts differ somewhat in the Quran compared to other ancient religious books. According to the Quran, Adam was a prophet, maintained a close relationship with God and lived in heavenly paradise until he fell into sin. His offspring reproduced and served as the beginning of mankind.
1 Dwelt in Paradise
The Quran states that Adam was created by God from clay. Unlike the angels, God gave Adam free will and the ability to reason and was honored by angels who cried to him "Assalamu alaikum", (meaning "God's peace be upon you"). Adam dwelt in a garden paradise whose location is not known; many Muslim scholars believe the garden paradise in which Adam and Eve dwelt may have been in heaven or not on earth. In paradise, Adam regularly communicated with the angels and with God. He lived in bliss and freedom.
2 Served as Caretaker
God told the Prophet Adam that he had been designed serve as the caretaker of creation. In the Quran 2:31, we learn that God "taught Adam all the names of everything". This is interpreted to mean that God taught Adam language, enabling him to identify and name all the things of creation, a knowledge that proves unique to mankind. For example, in Quran 2:32, God turned to the angels and asked them their names. The angels did not know their own names, so God told Adam to tell the angels their names. After his death, Adam's offspring were commissioned by God to serve as caretakers of creation.
According to the Quran, though Adam could communicate with the angels, the angels had no knowledge, no ability to reason, and no free will. God realized Adam was lonely so, one day Adam awoke to find his wife, Eve. Adam and Eve had many children, but the Quran only lists five -- Cain, Cain's twin sister, Abel, Abel's twin sister, and Seth. In the Quran, Adam's offspring intermarried to start the human race, so that the lineage of all men trace back to the Prophet Adam.
Though some believe all the Prophets are sinless, the majority of Muslims accept that Adam and Eve both committed sin. God had permitted Adam and Eve to eat of all the lush vegetation in the garden except for the fruits of a certain tree. Satan came to Adam and Eve and told them that if they ate from this tree, they would have immortality and be like the angels. Disobeying God's orders, Adam and Eve both ate fruit of the forbidden tree, after which they became aware of their nakedness. God cast them out of paradise for this sin to live the remainder of their life on earth with Satan.
After Adam was cast out of the garden, he felt guilt and repented. According to the Quran 20:121-122, God forgave Adam for his sins and "gave him guidance". For the remainder of Adam's life, he taught his family how to live a holy life through prophecies revealed to him by God. He taught his descendants about Satan, too, and how to overcome temptation. Adam communicated with God and with angels until he died at the age of 1000 years. Muslim scripture says that God let Adam see all of his descendents including the Prophet David, whom Adam highly favored.